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State's Oldest Furniture Store Closing Down


A piece of Connecticut history is about to become history, as centuries-old Bakers Country Furniture in Stafford Springs gets ready to close its doors.

"I've been here all my life," owner John Rossi said Tuesday. "I actually got off the school bus here."

The store has been in the Rossi family since the 1960s, but it dates back to 1808, a year before Abraham Lincoln was born, giving it claim as the oldest furniture retailer in Connecticut.

Longtime customer Rebecca Wentworth says the business has been as strong a neighbor as it's been a retailer.

"They've done a lot for the community," she said. "Whenever you came in here to sell an ad for a musical happening in town or anything for the kids or schools, they've been very generous."

When Bakers was founded, Stafford Springs was an overnight stagecoach stop between Boston and New York. The owners say business has had its ups and downs, but decided, for them personally, it's just time.

"My wife and I have been doing this all our lives," continued Rossi. "We think it's a little time for a change."

Their sunset moment is an opportunity for bargain hunters, starting Thursday, March 26.

"Well, on the carpet itself there's 65 percent savings, and all the accessories will be 50 percent off, and all of our furniture is going to be as marked, but it's going to be substantial savings," Rossi promised.

As for the future of the 20,000-square-foot property at 42 West Main Street, Rossi says he'd like to see it remain a furniture store.

"I think it was a great place to have one," he said.

Wentworth seems OK with that but bemoans the seemingly perpetual manifest destiny of big-corporation America.

"We have a CVS across the street and that's new too, so I'm still trying to get used to that," she lamented.

Asked about the specter of a furniture giant such as Ikea, Wentworth was unequivocal.

"I hope not, I really hope not," she said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Use Facebook to ID Bank Robbery Suspects


Police identified two bank robbery suspects through Facebook and arrested them early Tuesday morning after an overnight investigation into a robbery at Webster Bank in Orange late afternoon the day before.

Brian Gittings, 27, of Shelton, and Amy Miranti, 23, of Trumbull, are facing charges in a robbery that happened at the bank at 247 Boston Post Road at 4:48 p.m. on Monday.

The Orange Police Department continued investigating overnight, getting more information from witnesses and members of the public in that time frame. They received an anonymous tip that led them to review some Facebook pages that helped identify Gittings and Miranti as the suspected bank robber and getaway driver in the case, police said. Police ultimately located the suspects in Shelton.

"This is an example of using good old fashion police work combined with today's social media that led to the successful and quick arrests in this case," Lt. Andrew Steinbrick said. "The Orange Police want to thank the public for spreading the word on yesterdays robbery and calling in leads to Investigators."

A man handed the bank teller a note demanding money and left with cash after she complied, police said. The amount of money he stole is unknown. An alarm at 4:50 p.m. alerted police about the bank hold-up and they canvassed the surrounding neighborhood for the bank robber.

A Milford K9 unit attempted to track him and ended its search at Racebrook Road near Neenan Road, where police learned he was last seen. A woman was seen parked in a black Nissan Altima, a possible getaway car, in that area between 4:30 and 5 p.m., police said.

Police said they learned that the man had visited the bank earlier in the day before the robbery. The robber and a woman were also seen in a car matching the same description, with front-end damage, at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, according to police.

The Connecticut Bankers Reward Association offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to any arrests.

Shelton police assisted with the investigation.

Police charged Gittings and Miranti with third-degree robbery, fourth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny. They are both being held in police custody on a $25,000 bond and are scheduled to be arraigned in Derby Superior Court on Tuesday morning.

Both suspects have a history of crime, according to police.

Photo Credit: Orange Police Department

Torrington Suspect Arrested After Crash Miles Away


A suspect in a Torrington bank robbery is in custody after leading police on a chase that ended in a crash 44 miles away on the Brookfield-New Milford line, according to police.

Police responded to a hold up alarm the TD Bank at Torrington Commons in Torrington at 8:44 a.m. and but the robber had fled with the money, police said.

Police quickly identified Christopher Basigalup, 45, as a suspect and  Torrington police urged authorities in neighboring towns to be on the lookout for him.

Several hours later, Torrington police learned that Basigalup had been involved in a police chase that ended in a crash when Basigalup hit the back of a box truck on Route 7 North on the Brookfield-New Milford line, near Faith Church at 600 Danbury Road in New Milford.

State police earlier said a state trooper noticed a motor vehicle violation on a truck on Interstate 84 West near exit 6 in Danbury around 10 a.m. The trooper tried to stop the driver, but he continued to evade police, which led to a pursuit on Route 7 North.

As police searched for Basigalup, Southwest School, Torringford School and Forbes School in the downtown area of Torrington were placed on "secure mode." Southwest School officials said the secure mode started at 9:25 a.m. and was lifted by 11:03 a.m.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton Tweeted that there is a “developing situation on Route 7” heading towards New Milford with State Police in pursuit.

Police said there are outstanding warrants for Basigalup, who was apprehended and taken to Danbury Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

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3D Printing Helps Finish Gaudi's Sagrada Familia


The Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain, has been under construction for more than 130 years, but now thanks to the 21st century technology of 3D printing, the 19th century project may finally be completed by 2026.

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi began work on the Gothic and Art Nouveau masterpiece in 1883, but only a quarter of the church was completed at the time of his death in 1926. Up until the turn of the century, the intricate project relied on hand-crafted prototype models from Gaudi's designs before anything was permanently installed, according to BBC.

That changed in 2001 when architects Jodi Coll, Jordi Faulí, and Mark Burry started using 3D printers to create plaster models in 12 hours, BBC reported.

The printers alternate layers of dust and binding material to create modular pieces that can be swapped around and modified post-printing. The plaster-like material also allows the architects to mix parts between the age-old models and the newly produced ones, according to BBC. The new technology has allowed the team to accelerate the project, which reduced costs and set the completion date for 2026.

In 1936, construction on the church -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts 2.8 million people a year-- stopped during the Spanish Civil War and many of Gaudi’s renderings and models were stolen or destroyed. Since then, many architects have been worried about preserving Gaudi’s original vision. But chief architect Jodi Coll believes Gaudi would have embraced 3D technology.

“If Gaudí was alive today, he would have brought 3D technology to its maximum exponent, since much of his work was already conceived tri-dimensionally,” said Coll, according to 3D Systems.

The architects used 3D technology to piece together a digital version of how the finished Sagrada Familia will look like in 2026.

“This model couldn’t be produced before, primarily for technical reasons—advances in computer power, precise 3D scanning of the existing building, and 3D prototyping allowed us to work at a scale and a level of detail hitherto impossible to achieve,” architect Jordi Faulí told Architect Magazine.

Photo Credit: Ilyse Liffreing
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Hamden Police Opens Substation in Crime-Ridden Area


Hamden police are stepping up their presence in the city's Highwood neighborhood, thanks to a new substation off Dixwell Avenue.

"This thing came together pretty quickly," said Police Chief Thomas Wydra.

The Highwood Substation is located in a part of the city historically known for drug abuse and rampant crime. Wydra said a strong police presence in the neighborhood will help law enforcement forge connections with the community.

"We’ll have more omnipresence and it will be a way to develop relationships," Wydra explained. "You can see the canal trail is literally steps away from us, so we can deploy our bike unit from this location. It’s a total win-win for us being here."

Wydra said the goal is to get officers out of their police cruisers and onto the streets to meet with neighbors and business owners.

"We want to make this a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood," he said.

Mayor Scott Jackson, who will take a job with Gov. Dannel Malloy's administration next month, said he wants to return to Highwood "in a hundred years."

He said the substation is the kind of move that could help transform a community and spark its growth solely because of the local police relationship.

“Things like this substation here today to remind folks that our law enforcement officers are there for all of us," Jackson said.

Kristina Zallinger owns an art studio next door to the substation and lives in the neighborhood. She said she's been waiting for this day.

"The main thing it means is being safe and I think a lot of people will agree with me in this complex," she said.

Dog Dies in Derby House Fire


A family from Derby lost one of their three dogs when flames ripped through their home on Summit Street on Tuesday evening.

Derby Fire Chief Mike Goodman said no one was home when the fire broke out. About 45 firefighters responded to the blaze at 24 Summit Street, including crews from the Echo Hose Fire Company in neighboring Shelton. They arrived to find flames engulfing the second floor.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and walked himself to the hospital, according to the Derby fire chief. Firefighters rescued two of the family's three dogs, performing CPR to revive one of them.

The blaze displaced a family of five, which is receiving help from the American Red Cross. Goodman said the home sustained heavy damage.

A fire marshal is investigating to determine he cause of the fire.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Durham Man Shot and Killed Wife Before Turning Gun on Himself


A 74-year-old Durham man shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself in a murder-suicide that shook the town last week.

According to the medical examiner's office, Donald Bourret, 74, murdered his wife, artist Terry Oakes Bourret, 71, then shot himself at their home near the town green at 73 Main Street the evening of March 17. The couple's dog was also shot and killed.

Major crimes detectives spent more than 10 hours searching the home and the Terry Oakes Bourret Art Studio located behind the home on the property. Police said they recovered a gun near one of the bodies.

Authorities haven't released any information on a possible motive.

The incident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Propane Tank Explodes During Bridgeport House Fire


A propane tank from a gas grill exploded Monday night when a home burst into flames on Grove Street in Bridgeport, slicing through a nearby try and narrowly missing firefighters up the driveway.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

"As they were stretching the hose line down the driveway, there was a sudden explosion," Deputy Fire Chief Dominick Carfi said in a statement Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the fire department said the tank blew up while some firefighters searched the three-story house at 152 Grove Street and others dragged hoses to the burning building.

Shards of metal "impaled" a nearby tree, missing the firefighters by about 10 feet. Had they been any closer, Carfi said, "it could have been tragic."

The blaze forced about a dozen people from their homes. Fire officials said the displaced residents are staying with family and friends.

Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: City of Bridgeport

Southern Connecticut Ranked 2nd Most Expensive Region


Southern Connecticut ranks second on Forbes’ latest list of most overpriced cities in the country, behind Honolulu, Hawaii.

The geographic region includes Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk. According to Forbes, the median income in southern Connecticut is $83,700, and only half the houses in the area are affordable for those families.

Groceries in the area cost 15.6 percent more than the national average, while utilities are 32.8 percent more expensive, transportation is 18.8 percent more and health care is 14.1 percent costlier, according to Forbes.

Southern Connecticut comes in second on the Forbes list of 25 most expensive cities in 2015.

The top 5 include:

  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Southern Connecticut
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • New York City, New York
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts

Forbes considered areas with populations of more than 600,000. You can see the full list online.

Photo Credit: Christopher Caldwell/Flickr

House for Sale Wired to Explode: PD


A house set to go on sale in Milton, Massachusetts, was wired to explode if someone just flipped a light switch, police said Tuesday.

Attention was initially called to the home when the homeowner and an electrician came to the house as part of a pre-sale inspection. The electrician immediately determined that a device in the home was suspicious.

Police and the bomb squad responded and disabled the device. Police say the device was wired to detonate when a lamp or wall switch was flipped. The wires ran through the entire house, including the rafters.

Craig St. where the house is located is closed as police continue to investigate.

Boston Police and Milton Police are searching for the individuals renting the home. They say everyone connected to the house are being considered persons of interest.

According to police, they were called to the house one week ago for a vandalism complaint. They say someone had plugged all of the drains with cement.

Stay with necn and necn.com for more details as they are made available.

Woman Kidnapped for Ransom: Police


Police, search crews and the FBI have expanded a search for a 29-year-old physical therapist who was reportedly abducted Monday morning from a Vallejo, California, home and is being held for ransom. 

Denise Huskins' boyfriend claims an intruder broke into his Mare Island home early Monday morning and took her by force while demanding a ransom. But for some reason, her boyfriend waited 11 hours to report it to police. Police originally said Huskins was 30.

On Tuesday evening, over 100 trained search and resue personnel, including a dive team, were searching the waterfront and other areas near the 500 block of Kirkland Avenue on Mare Island, from where Huskins' was reportedly kidnapped.

Police on Tuesday did not elaborate on what the ransom demand might be. “All I can tell you is that there was a ransom demand,” said Lt. Kenny Park of the Vallejo Police Department.

Huskins who is a physical therapist at Kaiser Vallejo Hospital, was reported missing on Monday about 2 p.m. by her boyfriend. The event, however, took place earlier in the morning and it’s unclear why he waited to alert authorities. Park said police are interviewing him bo but don’t consider him a “person of interest.”

Huskins' car was also reportedly taken from the residence, however the 2000 Toyota Camry was later found at an unnamed location in Vallejo, officers said.

Huskins also lists on her Facebook page indicates that she's a physical therapist at Southern California Orthopedic Institute. Her Facebook page states she is from Huntington Beach and that she moved to Vallejo in June 2014.

KNBC reporters went to Huskins' Huntington Beach family home and spoke with her brother Devin Huskins, who said the family is waiting to get more details about what's going on before saying anything to the media. Huskins' dad flew up to Vallejo to talk with investigators, despite their suggestion not to, her brother said. Her father told NBC Bay Area he is praying for his daughter's safe return.

"She's my little girl  — when she was young she would say 'daddy I'll be your best friend,'" Huskins' father said. "I know she didn't just let somebody take her. She would've put up a fight. She ran marathons, she was physically fit."

Huskins father says the story just doesn't add up. While he's never met his daugter's boyfriend, he says his daughter seemed happy with him. He added that they worked together as physical therapists at Kaiser.

Devin Huskins said his sister lives right across the street from the Kaiser Permanante Hospital where she is finishing up a physical therapy clinical course. He said her sister and her boyfriend don't live together, Huskins was just hanging out there when the incident took place.

Neighbors in Vallejo were surprised.

“We’ve seen her, she's beautiful,” Matea Rolovic said, adding that Huskins lives with two male roommates.

“It’s bizarre,” added Patrick Van Deweg. “It’s a really bizarre story.”

"What year are we in, do people still take ransom?" Rolovic asked.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Vallejo Police Department at 707-648-4524.

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell and Gonzo Rojas contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Huskins family
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Hebron to Change Traffic Light in Wake of Deadly Crash


The state Department of Transportation is restructuring an intersection in Hebron after a 22-year-old was killed in a crash there last month.

Chris Passera was heading home from work on Route 316 when another car collided with his at the intersection of Route 66 in Hebron. While state police are still investigating the crash, Passera's father believes tall snow banks and flashing stop lights contributed.

"If one of those factors wasn't a factor, he'd be alive today," said the older Christopher Passera.

He reached out to the town and state, and on Tuesday, the DOT announced the lights will no longer flash overnight.

The DOT said it considers several factors when programming flashing lights, including traffic patterns, crash data and input from the town.

DOT officials said they decided to honor the town's request but warned of federal guidelines that say "unjustified traffic signals can result in... disobedience of the signal indications and significant increases in the frequency of collisions."

Christopher Passera, on the other hand, says the news is a small victory. He wants the DOT to do away with the flashing light operation statewide during the winter months.

"If it's good enough for this light, it's good enough for all lights," he said. "Let's do something with a sight-line issue. Let's do something with the lights."

The Hebron town manager said that although the change was warranted at this intersection, he doesn't believe it's the case with the town's other flashing lights.

Passera countered that making an across-the-board change would be worthwhile if it saves even one life.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire Rips Through Milford Home


Fire forced two people from their home on Ardmore Street in Milford on Tuesday night.

Officials at the scene said they were called to the burning building around 9 p.m. and arrived to find that flames had jumped from the garage to the house.

The home sustained significant water and smoke damage, and firefighters said the garage is a total loss. No one was hurt, but two residents will need to stay elsewhere until the house is repaired.

Firefighters suspect the blaze broke out in the garage. A fire marshal is investigating to determine the cause.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Head of School, Family Sickened


The head of a Delaware middle school and his wife are slowly recovering but their children remain in critical condition after they were sickened, possibly by a pesticide, during a vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Stephen Esmond, his wife Dr. Theresa Devine and their two teen sons were staying at the Sirenusa Condominium Resort in Cruz Bay, St. John, Friday when they suddenly became ill, suffering major respiratory trauma.

The family was eventually taken to hospitals in the Philadelphia area. Esmond and his wife are in serious condition while their two sons are in critical condition.

Esmond is the headmaster of Tatnall’s Middle School in Wilmington while Dr. Devine is a local dentist. Their two teen sons attend Tatnall's high school. 

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are investigating whether the family was sickened by a pesticide called methyl bromide. EPA officials say the pesticide may have been used to fumigate a room at the resort back on March 18, the same day the family checked in.

The use of methyl bromide is restricted in the United States because of its acute toxicity, according to the EPA. The pesticide is not authorized for use in buildings and only certified applicators are allowed to be used in certain agricultural settings.

Exposure to methyl bromide can cause damage to the central nervous system and respiratory system.

“Pesticides can be very toxic and it is critically important that they be applied properly and used only as approved by EPA,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Protecting people’s health in the U.S. Virgin Islands is of paramount importance. The EPA is actively working to determine how this happened and will make sure steps are taken to prevent this from happening to others at these vacation apartments or elsewhere.”

Both the EPA and the U.S. Virgin Islands government are investigating the incident.

Tatnall is a college preparatory school for students ages 3 through grade 12. Tatnall is currently on Spring Break but students and staff have shown their support for the family.

"The whole community is pulling for you guys, praying for you guys," said Oiver Campbell, a family friend. "We really wish them the best."

Charlie Tierney, the head of School at Tatnall, also released a statement on Esmond and his family.

“The Tatnall School family is sending its well-wishes and love to the Esmonds,” Tierney wrote. “We will continue to offer our prayers and positive, healing thoughts and support them in any way we can.”

Family Seeks Superhero's Help as Boy Battles Leukemia


A 3-year-old boy from the quiet Connecticut town of Brooklyn is battling leukemia, and his family thinks a visit from his hero Captain America is just the thing to lift the boy's spirits.

Luke Palmer was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. That news hit the Palmer family just nine days after Luke's grandfather died of leukemia himself.

"We've had so many people stand up and come to our aid. It's amazing," said Luke's mother, Darcy Palmer.

Friends of the Palmers are raising money through a GoFundMe account to help defray the cost of Luke's chemotherapy treatments, which have already begun at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, and daily doses of steroids.

Luke will need treatment for three years. The survival rate for his type of leukemia is 90 percent, but the treatments have sapped young Luke's normally boundless exuberance.

"He's not his usual energetic self. He's tired," Palmer said. Indeed the boy looked exhausted, sad, and was fussy when we visited the family's home, atypical of a child his age.

"He would [normally] be shoving all his toys in your face and talking to you about Captain America," said Palmer, while Luke's 4-year-old brother John was buzzing the room with superhero figures and other toys.

Palmer said the boys' endless enthusiasm for mythical heroes comes from their father, Chris.

"From a very young age we've been watching movies and reading the books and playing with the toys, and they've taken over," she laughed.

And thus began a heroic quest to lift her young son's spirit.

"My friends have set up a Facebook campaign to try to get Captain America, Chris Evans, to come and visit Luke," she said.

Darcy is optimistic that the actor's nearby roots in Boston might help their cause. She's also encouraged because one of her friends has reached out to Evans' publicist.

Darcy said she has heard that Evans recently visited Boston Children's Hospital, and she thinks such a drop-in at Connecticut Children's would be a huge boost for Luke and the many other ill children being treated there.

"They've been chatting and seeing what Chris' schedule is," Darcy said with anticipation, "so hopefully it's going to happen."

New Haven Officer on Desk Duty After Forceful Arrest at Parade


The New Haven police officer who forced a 15-year-old girl to the ground whlie arresting her during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade has been placed on desk duty at the direction of New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Harp gave the directive after protesters marched along city streets twice in 24 hours. The mayor said she instructed the police chief to take action.

"I have asked him to put him on desk duty, and he agreed to do so," Harp told reporters Tuesday.

The controversial incidnet was captured on camera. Cellphone video posted to YouTube shows the officer forcing the handcuffed teen to the ground. The teen appears to hit her head on the pavement.

The girl's family has identified her as 15-year-old Teandrea Cornelius. Family members said the incident ignited when an 18-year-old threatened Teandrea inside a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant during the parade on March 15.

Teandrea walked away with a fractured shoulder and a cut near her eye, according to her family.

Authorities have not identified the officer who arrested her. It's not clear how long he will remain on desk duty.

The New Haven Police Department is investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: YouTube
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Gas Leak Prompts Evacuations in Shelton


Residents were evacuated from an apartment complex on Canal Street in Shelton on Tuesday night after gas leaks were reported in the area, according to the Echo Hose Fire Company.

Firefighrters said they were called to the Avalon Shelton apartments at 185 Canal Street late Tuesday. Evacuations were underway as of 11:30 p.m.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske

Woman Hit by Car Near Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester


A 20-year-old woman was taken to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after she was hit by a car while crossing the street near Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, according to police.

Police said Liandra Sherise Rivera, 20,of Hartford, was struck at the intersection of Buckland Street and Pleasant Valley Road around 4 p.m. Tuesday. She was taken to Hartford Hospital for injuries that police described as serious but not life-threatening.

The truck that hit her, a silver 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, stayed at the scene. It appeared to have stopped about 15 feet behind a crosswalk.

Several lanes of Pleasant Valley Road were blocked off, and Buckland Street was closed at South Windsor-Manchester line while police responded, snarling traffic during the evening rush.

The Manchester Police Department Traffic Unit is investigating the crash. Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Aaron Calkins at 860-645-5560.

No charges have been filed.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Robert Durst Linked to Missing Simsbury Teen


Police are probing a link between millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst and an 18-year-old Simsbury native who went missing in Vermont more than 40 years ago.

Lynne Kathryn Schulze vanished during her freshman year at Middlebury College in 1971. Police have stopped short of calling Durst a suspect in her disappearance but said he was in the right place at the right time.

"I don't want to use the word suspect," Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley said during a news conference Tuesday. "This is a person that is very interesting to us."

Police revealed Tuesday that Schulze likely shopped at Durst's health food store not long before she went missing. She's presumed dead, likely the victim of foul play. But no one knows what happened to her.

"I would love to bring some resolution to this, whether it is with Robert Durst or another lead," said Middlebury Police Det. Kris Bowdish.

The case resonates back home in Simsbury too. Linda Oseychik, who purchased the house where Schulze and her siblings grew up, listened in on the news conference Tuesday.

"To lose a child and not know what happened, I would think your imaginings would be worse than any reality," Oseychik said. "If it does come to pass that Robert Durst was responsible, to me, that would be your worst imaginings."

Oseychik said she's always hoped – but maybe not believed – that one day, Schulze would return to Simsbury.

"I had always hoped that someday, maybe if she did some home, she would come home to here, and we would do whatever it took to get her reunited with her family," Oseychik said. "But that's hasn't happened."

Simsbury police said they're doing all they can to bring closure to the case, offering help and support to authorities in Vermont. 

In the meantime, questions linger and answers are few.

"We have always been cognizant of the pain the parents went through until their passing," Oseychik said. "It's always haunted us."

Suspected CA Cop-Killer Found Dead


UPDATE: Click here for the latest developments in the slaying.

The man suspected of killing a veteran San Jose police officer in a shootout was found dead early Wednesday on the balcony of his home where he had been holed up, police said, after what the mayor called "San Jose's darkest hour."

Police found the suspect dead on his balcony with at least one gunshot wound when they entered his home around 3:20 a.m., a police spokesman said.

Fourteen-year police veteran Michael Johnson was shot dead Tuesday night when a man opened fire on officers responding to a call about an intoxicated man threatening to kill himself, Officer Albert Morales said.

The suspect — who police earlier identified as Scott Dunham, 57 — shot at the officers as they arrived just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, and they returned fire and may have struck him, Morales said.

Officers had swarmed the area of Senter Road, between Umbarger Road and Balfour Drive in East San Jose, in search of the suspect. Police were heard telling people in the area "there is a man with a high-powered rifle who may be pointing it at you right now. You may be in the line of fire."

After hearing of the shooting, police departments throughout the Bay Area late Tuesday offered sympathies to San Jose police by sending thoughts and prayers on social media.

"It's a sad day for law enforcement and the police department in our community," San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel said.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo called Tuesday's fatal shooting "San Jose's darkest hour."

"We mourn the loss of an officer who has paid the full measure," Liccardo said.

It has been nearly 14 years since the last San Jose police officer was killed in the line of duty. Officer Jeffrey Fontana was shot and killed in the Almaden Valley neighborhood in October 2001.

Fontana was shot during a traffic stop.

The gunman, DeShawn Campbell, was convicted in a high-profile court case that lasted more than seven years.

Photo Credit: SJPD
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